What is Uncomfortable Oxford?

Collaboration | Discourse | Engagement

Uncomfortable Oxford was founded in 2018 by two students, with the aim of raising questions about the 'uncomfortable' legacies of inequality and imperialism in the city and the university.

We ultimately ask: How can we engage collectively

with these histories in the public space?

If you have any questions, email us:

Who do we want to engage with this project?

  1. Academics - At the University of Oxford but also beyond it - all universities in the city, and universities abroad​

  2. Local Oxfordians - the people who live and work in this city, as well as the many schools here and around Oxfordshire​

  3. Tourists - Oxford gets 9 million a year, we want them to learn more about the city and its uncomfortable history when they do​

  4. Institutes - The many institutes around the city are great locations for public engagement and we can help enrich their programs and content through the project.

Meet The Team


Founding Director

Paula is co-founder of Uncomfortable Oxford. She is a DPhil Candidate, studying the history of medicine in the Oxford Centre for the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology. Her research focuses on the history of vaccinations in Canada, with a particular focus on the intersections of ethnicity and policy in the past century.


Founding Director

Olivia is Co-founder of Uncomfortable Oxford. She is a DPhil Candidate in the Centre for Global and Imperial History at the University of Oxford. Her research focuses on the history of the port cities of New Orleans and Odessa in the 19th century, with a particular focus on their relationship with settlement and immigration.


Executive Secretary

Waqas is an Executive Board member of Uncomfortable Oxford. He is a DPhil Candidate in 20th century French and

English Literature at the University of Oxford.

His research focuses on the representation

of the mind and consciousness in the arts, bilingualism, self-translation, poetry,

Cultural Studies and Hip Hop Studies.


Finance Manager

Paul Stephens is a DPhil candidate in English Literature at the University of Oxford. His research explores the poetry and prose of Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) through the disciplinary lens of economic philosophy.


Blog Editor

Elena is a DPhil candidate in History at the University of Oxford. Her research focuses on the development of built heritage preservation policy in Britain, with a focus on private land ownership.


Guides Manager

Amy Holguin holds a master's degree in Archaeological Science from the University of Oxford, and her research explores the importance of plant resources in Mesolithic and Neolithic diets.


Bookings Officer

Lunan was a visiting undergraduate in English Literature at the University of Oxford. His research interests include postcolonial thinking, medical humanities, and transcultural studies.


Research and Development Manager

Maryanne Saunders is a PhD candidate in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at King's College London. Her research focuses on Gender, Sexuality, and Language in Contemporary Religious Art.


Illustrator and Designer

Kati is a local illustrator and designer who specialises in editorial, publishing and portraits. Her work often explores the history of people and places. Originally from Budapest, where she received a degree in English, following eight years in North Wales, Kati did a second degree in Illustration and has established herself as a freelance illustrator in the Oxford area.  


Outreach Officer

Ruby-Anne is a DPhil candidate in Archaeological Science at the University of Oxford. Her research explores the origins of modern human behaviour and symbolism in Africa with timescales for archaeological site.


Logistics Officer

Malak is a final-year undergraduate reading English Language and Literature at the University of Oxford. Her research interests include postcolonial and world literature studies, with a particular focus on Anglophone Arab writing.

Ben Wheadon

Podcast Editor

Ben Wheadon is a Masters student in English & American Studies at the University of Oxford. His research currently focuses on African American literature, songwriting and the technological function of sampling in hip-hop composition.


Impact Officer

Lydia is an undergraduate reading History and German at the University of Oxford.

Her interests include Global History, literature and translation.


Grants Officer

Madeline is an MPhil student in the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology at the University of Oxford. She is interested in the use of scientific language and theories on colonized places and populations.

Daniel Poole

Newsletter Editor

Daniel Poole holds a degree in history and an MA in Publishing from Oxford Brookes University. Currently he is involved in research concerning British colonial attrocities during the Malayan Emergency. His interests include the history of post-WWII communism, cold-war propaganda and anti-colonial revolutions.

Steph Barker

Human Ressources Manager



Digital Media Officer

Sara is an MPhil student in Modern European History at the University of Oxford. Her research focuses on the history of  Weimar and Nazi Germany, with a particular focus on political assassinations and the development of clandestine military organisations after the First World War.

Emma Hinnells

Blog Assistant

Emma is a History graduate from the University of Oxford. Her interests include global history with a focus on early modern Eurasian empires, as well as the history of gender and sexuality

Mission Statement

Uncomfortable Oxford aims to find ways of engaging with the uncomfortable issues

in the city of Oxford, to promote awareness, dialogue, and public interest.

It values diversity, collaboration, and breaking down the institutional and academic barriers.

Its ultimate goal is to change how the public engages with the city of Oxford

through awareness of its uncomfortable legacies in the built environment.

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